Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on track to have greatest-ever debut season in Premier League

Alex Broun 21:04 26/02/2018
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Remember this date – June 22, 2017 – just over eight months ago and Mo Salah’s 25th birthday.

It was also the day the Egyptian phenomenon arrived in Liverpool from Roma for a then club-record fee of £36.9 million.

The signing was not met with that much frenzy at the time.

Salah had been named player of the season for Roma the previous term, as I Giallorossi finished second in Italy and claimed a Champions League place.

He had also finished as the club’s top goalscorer with 15 goals in all competitions (14 in Serie A), and six assists, bringing his tally to 29 goals in 65 appearances over two seasons.

But Serie A is not the Premier League and many Liverpool fans still remembered Salah’s underwhelming time at Chelsea in 2014/15 where he scored just two goals in 13 appearances before being shipped off on loan to Fiorentina then Roma, who made their loan deal permanent in 2016.

It was Jose Mourinho, then Chelsea manager, who shipped him in and shipped him out – one decision he may wish he had again.

Jurgen Klopp said at the time of Salah’s arrival: “His pace is incredible, he gives us more attacking threat and we are already strong in this area.

“Most important, though, for us, is that he is hungry, willing and eager to be even better and improve further.”

26 02 2018 Salah

Even Klopp could not have predicted just how great that improvement would be.

With ten games still left in the season Salah is on track to become the most successful debutant in Premier League history.

Currently he sits in sixth place with 23 goals and eight assists – only one goal involvement behind Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Chelsea in 2017-18 and Alan Shearer at Newcastle in 1996-97.

There’s every likelihood that Salah will also pass No3 and No2 on the list – Sunderland’s Kevin Phillips (34) and United’s Robyn van Persie (35) – but he has some way to catch top of the list Andy Cole on 47 (34 goals and 13 assists).

But at this stage everything is possible. He already sits ahead of Shearer and only behind Cole in goals per game – 1.18 to 1.15.

Salah is already breaking records and winning awards weekly – 2017 African Player of the Year, 2017 BBC African Footballer of the Year, PL Player of the Month for November, PFA Player of the Month November and December and four Liverpool Player of the Months awards in his first five months at the club.

The goal against West Ham on the weekend was Salah’s 20th scored with his left foot this season, breaking the previous record of 19 held by – wait for it – the player Liverpool fans know as ‘God’, Robbie Fowler.

No player in the Premier League has ever scored more with his left boot in a single campaign – and fittingly it was also Liverpool’s 100th goal for the season. The century mark is the first time this has been achieved at Liverpool under Klopp.


Robbie Fowler has already lost one record to Salah – now he could lose a second.

Salah’s total of 30 goals this season in all competitions (23 PL, 6 Champions League, 1 FA Cup) is just one behind Luis Suarez’s magical final season (2013-14) when he scored 31.

He’s already gone past Michael Owen’s best (28), and now he has only Fernando Torres (33) and Fowler (36) ahead of him.

Both of those players are already legends of the club and Salah – in just his first season – is already heading that way.

It’s an astonishing performance for a player who was once dismissed as not up to Premier League standard.

Without a doubt he has proven that is not the case.

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